Category archive

Politics - page 5

Big “L” or little “l”?

in Activism/Opinion/Politics/Poor Pratt's Almanack
Do you care about labels like Big "L" or little "l"?

Continuation of a dialog with Bill Orton in the Vonluntaryism group about big “L”-little “l” labeling, with considerable edits for clarity:

Bill Orton : Bill, I think big “L”/little “l” pigeon-hole labeling is a waste of time. From my perspective, the LP is by far the best public-facing focal point for all things Liberty. I will honor the LP as such. The LP in the last 6 years locally and 3 years nationally has brought me into contact with a fantastic Liberty network, including you. That fact alone is more than sufficient justification to celebrate the LP.

I wish the LP would get their heads out of political smoke-filled back rooms, pay more attention to the private sector, and win more elections by leveraging free-market benefits like cash-basis healthcare and other coming cash-basis disruptions of government social service monopolies. But that is a task for the private sector, not the public sector. The LP and Libertarian movement are not the only gateways to the Liberty arena, but who can deny the doors they have opened and flaunted in the face of the donkeyphant duopoly? Oops, please excuse my label filter hiccup! 🙂

Does that observation on the value of the LP affect my personal philosophy? Not one iota. Ideas stand or fall on their own rational objective merit. Have I gotten ideas from my exposure to the LP? You betcha – a ton! The broader Libertarian movement may or may not be more in sync with my views than the LP but that comparison is totally irrelevant when seeking the truth as best we humans can understand metaphysical reality.

I could care less about labeling. I am neither alt-left nor alt-right. You might say I am alt-freedom. However, regardless of labels, the goal for me is pure and simple – freedom, nothing more, nothing less, for all people. I have zero tolerance for political correctness and no use for associated labels that fly in the face of Man’s rational capacity. I believe that free-market anarcho-[laissez-faire]capitalism and voluntary competitive Panarchy governance will best survive the test of time and allow mankind to thrive. That is my personal view irrespective of my celebration of the LP as a great source of ideas and melting-pot cauldron of freedom seekers.

Paraphrasing Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “Out damned label!”

Follow-up response to Robert Eckerson:

David Pratt Demarest Robert, I agree. It’s not rocket science. It’s amazing how well free markets operate and how well we manage most of our personal lives and relationships despite unwanted, unnecessary, and misguided at best big brother guidance from the government.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves.There nothing, nothing, that governments can do for us that we can’t do better ourselves. Let me be more blunt. Governments have always existed solely for the benefit of those who govern. Those who think otherwise are either using government to get an unfair free-lunch advantage or are deluding themselves and need to have their heads examined.

Government, get the hell out of our way!

Poor Pratt’s Almanack – Pratt’s Prattles
D. Pratt Tseramed, November 1, 2018

Losing the Moral High Ground

in Nick Wolff/Opinion/Politics
losing moral high ground

Heroes and Villains

We all see ourselves as the hero in our story. Simple minds cast others as the villain. The moment you come to believe that you unquestionably occupy the moral high ground is the moment you have lost it.

Dehumanization of your opponent is easy. Understanding them is difficult, but it’s the only way this is going to work. If we care about solving problems, we need to realize that people who contend with our ideas likely have a point. They probably have important information and perspectives to bring to the discussion.

We bring our differing values (or beliefs) into every interaction and situation we enter. We do not prioritize our values the same way–nor should we.

It is my hope that by highlighting the diversity of human values, we can advance human progress in much kinder ways. These fundamental disagreements will be resolved, but they don’ t have to. I want adversaries across debates to become more humanized in the minds of their opponents.

Internal Threat

Our values are visceral. Even when they are grounded intellectually (often they are not) the fact that they under-gird so much of our lives, we will have a deep seated emotional reaction to anything that would move us to reconsider our perspective. We react in fear because having to re-define our assumptions about the world is a tremendously traumatic experience. We react harshly and often aggressively toward anything that would threaten our worldview.

New perspectives which adversely impact our relationships are terribly difficult to adopt. Many of our social groups are defined by certain commonly held beliefs. If we were ever to depart from them, we may face social ostracism from close friends, colleagues, and sometimes family members. For some, that cost is too great. For that reason, challenging ideas are seen as an existential threat.

People are different. I have devoted many hours of my life to understand why people disagree. When I say disagree, I mean deep, durable disagreement. One of my colleagues, once said that poor communication was the source of all conflict. That is patently false. Sure, better communication helps to clear up misperceptions, miscommunications, and build trust. But intractable conflict isn’t about communication problems. It’s about fundamental differences about how we believe the world ought to exist and function. Because of these differences, we all believe we are operating on the moral high ground. That’s when things get dangerous.

Stop Fighting

When it comes to interpersonal conflict, the biggest danger arises from an inability to see the noble, ethical, or valid ideas that form the basis of one’s position. If after discussion, you can see the moral and philosophical basis for that opinion, if nothing else we can “agree to disagree,” shake hands, and move forward–accepting our differing prioritization of values. But when adversaries end the conversation with no clearer understanding of the noble basis for the other’s position, terrible things happen. The “othering” occurs. We’ve lost the moral high ground. We attribute malice, ignorance, or dis-ingenuousness to others. Relationships are destroyed and collaboration is impossible. 

In subsequent articles, I’ll be discussing the six pairs of competing value orientations. In them you will see the basis of every intractable disagreement. Some orientations will resonate with you. Others will not. But my hope is you will come to understand the nature and positive basis for each orientation, even if you strongly disagree with the ramifications of that belief.

We need to stop fighting each other.

1 3 4 5
Go to Top